The decision to divorce or separate is always difficult so it is vital you get the best legal advice from the start.
At Collins & Hoy, our first step is always to listen to you and find out as much as possible about your situation.
We can provide information about choosing the right approach for your needs, and help you in these specific areas:
- Divorce proceedings
- Financial settlements and proceedings (asset division and maintenance)
- Children and parenting
- Domestic abuse including urgent applications
- Pre/Post-nuptial agreements
- Grandparents rights
- Civil partnerships and same sex relationships
- International divorce
How much will it cost?
At our first meeting we will be completely open about the likely costs and provide you with an estimate of our fees based on the time we think we will spend. That fee will reflect the experience of the solicitor/s involved (all of which will be set out in our invoice for total transparency). For Divorce proceedings, we can often offer a fixed fee.
Which way now?
If you have made the difficult decision to separate or divorce, we believe that reaching an agreement without going to court, either by Mediation, Collaboration (below) or another form of dispute resolution is the best option for all concerned, particularly if there are children involved. The good news is that it allows you to have more control over the process and from a purely practical point of view, this is often more efficient too, taking less time and therefore costing less.
However, we do recognise that in urgent matters, such as one partner selling assets, the abduction of a child and particularly in cases involving domestic abuse, robust and decisive action is required.
In any of these events, we advise you to make an urgent application to the Courts so that your position is protected.
We follow the Law Society Family Law Protocol as best practice and we will always discuss all your options and the costs in advance so that you can reach the best possible agreement. In addition, please note that as members of Resolution, we are committed to a constructive and non-confrontational approach to divorce and separation.
Aisling Collins and Bernadette Hoy, are qualified Accredited Family Mediators and can act as Mediator for you in both financial and/or children issues or can refer you to supportive and experienced local mediators.
As your Mediator we will be impartial and neutral and will work with you to facilitate proposals in a safe and constructive way through a series of meetings.
Hybrid mediation is a combination of the traditional family model and the commercial model and involves where appropriate having separate confidential meetings with each party and or involving their solicitors more closely in the process. It is appropriate for complex financial settlements, where there is high conflict or where one party wants their lawyer to be involved.
Using this method, both parties agree at the outset not to go to court. Instead, they work with each other and their lawyers through a series of face-to-face meetings in order to find solutions which best meet the needs of the whole family.
Unlike in mediation, a solicitor works with you throughout, giving you both legal advice and support in the meetings.
Once an agreement has been reached, we would prepare an official document to be presented to the court to be approved and made into an order. Again, neither party has to attend court.
If an agreement cannot be reached and the matter needs to be referred to the court, we cannot continue to represent you, having agreed at the outset not to use the court process.
Aisling Collins, Bernadette Hoy and Karina Leapman are all trained collaborative lawyers. For more information about the collaborative model please contact us at [email protected] or on 020 8866 1820.
Traditional / Court Proceedings
If an agreement cannot be reached through a negotiated settlement or through dispute resolution options then court proceedings are issued.
If you would like to discuss any matter relating to your family please call us on 020 8866 1820 or email us at [email protected].